We grow up at 3-5 years old without any sense of consciousness. This one woman gave a great talk and perspective that I never realized about ourselves. If you ask a room of kindergartners who’s the strongest boy in the room? They will all raise their hands shouting “me! me!” Ask the same question to a group of 7-9-year olds and the boys will point to one or two kids who they know are the strongest. How we develop consciousness is a huge impact on how we learn to express ourselves. What do you feel you are strongest at? What are you most proud of? What would you show off? The process is extremely self-critical and often too difficult to face in the mirror to decide we identify with something. My point is that we don’t need to choose.
My feeling is that the first step to being conscious is to simply feel. Before we jump into our cognitive life cycle of decision making, we should learn to flow with our emotions and gut feelings. Frankly, emotions are one of the most honest things we can ever experience. When you are sad, you sad. When you are mad, you are mad. No one put that there, you didn’t make it up. If you feel it, it’s most probably very real and it is coming from somewhere. Of course, why that emotion is there takes a lot of digging to understand.
I started photography for a few reasons. The point-and-shoot was made available to me around when I was 12-years-old. From there, ironically I went backwards with the technology and played with film when I was 16-17. I always did gravitate back to digital though because I quickly picked up Adobe Photoshop. I enjoyed the process of graphic design and being so capable of creating any idea you had in your head onto a digital image. The engagement of tools was an important path to appreciating and learning photography and has humbled me greatly.
The second reason was the relative experience I had with the tool. We have the luxury of capturing great moments, but to be able to try again and again. Preview, delete, snap again. This often gets taken for granted. I mean look at the #selfieevolution. Because we have the opportunity to capture every second, we are living for that image and less for that experience. This is a trend with many people, but for me I took this differently.
I always saw every click of the camera as the mileage in a car (which is partially true because of wear and tear of the camera). The moment that I take before I capture a picture is almost rhythmic.
First I envision the picture. Sometimes I even see the picture before the moment happens.
As the moment is milliseconds away, I click the camera on.
I look through the viewfinder and blink as milliseconds slow down before approaching the moment.
And as I open my eyes I see the picture I first envisioned. Snap.
At the end of each snap is another vision to follow. I stare into one moment to see a multitude of images. In our lives filled with so many experiences, only a handful actually get captured. The challenge is always not to capture all the moments, but to capture the one or two that tells the story of our lives.